For those who missed my last post, here’s a bit of review.
The first step in Career Planning is to create Your VISION. The difference in FLEXI-CAREER planning is that I suggest you use visual tools: a collage, drawings, pictures, whatever. Or, here’s a twist. If you’re one of those few folks who’s an auditory learner, try tape recording your description of your vision.
Got the picture? Of your vision, that is. Then procede to step two: goals. Again I’m suggesting you graph or draw your goals instead of simply wrting a list.
Your goals need to be turned into action steps or tasks.
The classical Project Management approach is to create a Gantt Chart ( http://www.ganttchart.com ) or PERT Chart ( http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_04.htm) These are essentially visual representations of your tasks, timelines, and their interrelationships. Most of us don’t want to go to the trouble of figure out all the timing relationships between our tasks. And, moreover, often they aren’t sequentially related.
But, there’s nothing to prevent us from drawing up a calendar or timeline that shows the tasks and their sequence and overlaps. I find that having a chart on the wall is a critical VISUAL reminder of what needs to be done. Trying to create such a chart also helps me see connections I might not have seen from a simple list.
Stuck as to how to figure out what steps to take?
Try mind mapping. ( http://www.mind-map.com/EN/index.html ) This technique developed by Tony Buzan, and also called Clustering, is a superb brainstorming tool. I’ve used it to brainstorm articles, speeches, and solutions to all manner of problems.
You can download a trial version of a product called Inspirations here ( http://www.inspiration.com/home.cfm ) which allows you to create mind maps and all sorts of other diagrams and flowcharts. I purchased an older version at a 2nd hand software reseller for $ 20 that works just fine.
But, whatever you do — DO create yourself a plan. And, do it on paper!
The exercise of writing down things helps make them happen.